The Americas Revealed

Collecting Colonial and Modern Latin American Art in the United States

Edited by Edward J. Sullivan

Hardback - £55.95

Publication date:

04 May 2018

Length of book:

224 pages


Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271079523

In The Americas Revealed, distinguished art historian and curator Edward J. Sullivan brings together a vibrant group of essays that explore the formation, in the United States, of public and private collections of art from the Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Americas.

The contributors to this volume trace the major milestones and emerging approaches to collecting and presenting Spanish Colonial and modern Latin American art by museums, galleries, private collections, and corporations from the late nineteenth to the twenty-first century. In chronicling the roles played by determined collectors from New York to San Francisco, the essays examine a range of subjects from MoMA’s mid-twentieth-century acquisition strategies to the growing taste on the West Coast for the work of Diego Rivera. They consider the impact of various political shifts on art collecting, from reactions against the “American exceptionalism” of the Monroe Doctrine to the aesthetic biases of government-sponsored art academies in Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, and Havana. The final three chapters focus on living collectors such as Roberta and Richard Huber, Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, and Estrellita B. Brodsky.

A thorough and definitive account of the changing course of private and public collections and their important connection to underlying political and cultural relations between the United States and Latin American countries, this volume gives a rare glimpse into the practice of collecting from the collectors’ own point of view.

In addition to the editor, contributors to this volume are Miriam Margarita Basilio, Estrellita B. Brodsky, Vanessa K. Davidson, Anna Indych-López, Ronda Kasl, Gabriel Pérez-Barreiro, Berit Potter, Mari Carmen Ramírez, Joseph Rishel, Delia Solomons, and Suzanne Stratton-Pruitt.

“Together, [these] essays are persuasive in arguing that acquiring Latin American art in North America is a complex cultural endeavor profoundly shaped by ever-changing, fluctuating government agendas and political ideologies. Highly recommended.”

—L. Estevez, Choice